Kentucky's attorney general makes the case for higher ed autonomy
- Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear pens in an editorial that the general public must reject efforts from the governor's office to dissolve university boards, and to potentially harm the accreditation of public institutions in the state.
- Citing a state Supreme Court decision to overturn more than $18 million in appropriation cuts to state higher education, Beshear says that political bullying and manipulation will cost the state independence in higher education, saying a lack of checks and balances could shape program offerings and personnel decisions.
- The state, which has already laid off more than 700 employees from its system, is also shaping enrollment with assessment on degrees and majors which are viewed as industrially incompatible for the state's needs, which flies in the face of the mission of higher education.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is among the nation's more aggressive political leaders in his approach to higher education, but many of these elected officials study the same playbook on how to shape commerce, civic impact and revenues with specific appointments and decisions relative to higher education budgeting.
College leaders are already great studies of local and state politics, but must understand that the imperative for showing higher education value lies in economic impact through spending and job preparation. Short of demonstrating how education of any kind makes communities more livable and more valuable, executives are vulnerable to political invasion at all turns.
- Northern Kentucky Tribune Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear: ‘The mission of higher education is under attack’
- Education Dive There's a fine line between good board-president relations and cronyism